Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu criticized the Greek Cypriot side for their drilling studies in the Mediterranean, saying that Turkey will take action in response to such unilateral steps to protect its own interests and rights around the region.
Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Gambia, Çavuşoğlu blamed the Greek Cypriots' "insincerity" as the main reason behind the failure of negotiation talks.
Çavuşoğlu, pointing out the Cypriot's continuing drilling studies in the Mediterranean during the ongoing peace meetings, gave the following quote:
"We have seen that while we are conducting negotiations for a solution in Cyprus the Greek Cypriot side has brought a boat to the region for drilling studies. This is a demonstration of insincerity from the Greek Cypriot side for a solution," the minister said, adding that the Greek Cypriots tried to conduct unilateral drilling studies, which he called a "provocation."
Turkey is currently in the process of discussing the matter with Energy Minister Berat Albayrak and and will take steps in response to the Greek Cypriots' provocations, Çavuşoğlu added.
Due to the dispute over Cyprus' maritime Exclusive Economic Zone, established with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea and covering 13 exploratory drilling blocks, the exploitation and export of the gas discovered in this area has not been allowed.
However, despite the disputed status, the Greek Cypriot administration continues to unilaterally open new tenders for hydrocarbon explorations without any collaboration with Turkish Cypriots.
The status of the Cyprus island remains unresolved in spite of a series of U.N.-mediated discussions between the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot administrations.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island's Turkish population, and the subsequent intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
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